Nintendo is “aiming to accelerate [its] digital business”, and will introduce several new much-requested features to the 3DS’s online eShop platform when the system’s new firmware update releases late next month.
At an investors meeting today, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said the new firmware will allow publishers to provide demos for their games via the eShop. Those companies can “put a limit on the number of trials”.
The November update will also support downloadable content (e.g. new stages) for games, presumably for both retail and digital releases, through the eShop. The CEO mentioned that microtransactions will be supported, too, according to a translated report from Kyodo News.
Iwata said the eShop will receive several usability improvements, including the ability to download software while in Sleep Mode, so you don’t have to wait with your 3DS open to grab games and apps.
Further down the line are preparations to make eShop browsable through your PC or smartphone, similar to how App Store’s iOS titles are available on the web:
"At the beginning, you will not be able to directly purchase software from your PC or smartphone. Instead, you will need to take a photo of a QR code at the eShop by using the camera of your 3DS. The 3DS will then open that specific page of the Nintendo eShop.
That function is already included in the upcoming system update for the 3DS. In the future, we will make it so [you can] purchase software by using your PC or smartphone.”
It’s fantastic to hear that Nintendo is making a serious effort to address the deficiencies in its online offerings and continuously improve the 3DS/eShop experience. These improvements aren’t going to bring the eShop to the level of Steam or the App Store, but they will certainly help bring the platform closer to those leaders.
See also: More eShop news
[Image via Clinton Chieng]